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Quick-thinking 911 operator and this app help to rescue lost hiker


The quick-thinking actions of a 911 dispatcher and an app are credited with police finding a man who got lost while hiking in Scanlon Creek Conservation Area on Line 9 in Bradford as darkness descended and his phone battery neared depletion.

According to South Simcoe police, the 911 Communicator quickly guided the 46-year-old man through downloading the what3words geolocation app on his phone. He then provided the three unique words for his location and was told to remain in place, which police said turned out to be important because his phone died shortly after the call.

Officers searched the area with help from the Barrie Police K9 unit and tactical units, who deployed their drone to search from above.

Police say it took just over an hour for the man to be brought to safety.

The thankful hiker didn't require medical attention, and police said he praised the 911 Communicator for helping him and keeping him calm.

"Clear, concise communication is paramount during a call like this," the police service stated.

Police advise downloading the what3words app, which works offline, making it ideal for use in rural areas with unreliable or poor internet connection.

Every three-metre square across the globe has been designated with a unique combination of three words, which can help in emergency situations to pinpoint a caller's whereabouts. Top Stories

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